18-year-old set to become youngest person in space after someone who bid $28 MILLION for a rocket ride with Jeff Bezos dropped out due to "scheduling conflicts"

Jul 19th

I want to know what kind of "scheduling conflict" keeps you from flying into LITERAL OUTER SPACE.

More than 7,600 people from 159 countries participated in the monthlong auction, which concluded on June 12. The winning bid was $28 million, and Blue Origin said it would reveal the bidder at a later date.

On Thursday, just five days before the flight, Blue Origin still did not reveal the winning bidder, but said in a news release that this person decided to defer the trip to a future New Shepard launch "due to scheduling conflicts."

Imagine bidding $28 million for a historic flight into space and then having a "scheduling conflict."

It's not like you say, "Oh, I was supposed to have lunch with Chris that day," or "I don't want to cut short my vacation to the Grand Canyon."

You're going outside Earth's atmosphere in a suborbital flight to see the stars!!

Luckily for Dutch 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, he's the runner up and will now get to be the youngest person to ever go to space.

Instead, Mr. Daemen, the son of the chief executive of a private equity investment firm and one of the runners-up in the auction, will take the seat.

"He was a participant in the auction and had secured a seat on the second flight," Sara Blask, a Blue Origin spokeswoman, said in an email. "We moved him up when this seat on the first flight became available."

Mr. Daemen graduated from high school last year and is taking a year off from school before starting in the fall at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

"This is a dream come true!" Mr. Daemen said in a news release from the family. "I hadn't counted on this at all until last week that surprising phone call from Blue Origin came. This is so unbelievably cool! The flight to and into space only takes 10 minutes, but I already know that these will be the most special 10 minutes of my life."

Heck yeah. This kid gets it.

Daemen will join Bezos, his brother, and Mary Wallace Funk, an 82-year-old female pilot who went through training alongside the male astronauts' training program in the 1960s. She will be the oldest person to ever go to space.

Blast off is scheduled for Tuesday in western Texas.


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